I find ANZAC cookies are one of the trickiest to replicate into a 'healthy' version... so much so that I find myself baking them every January for Australia Day, each time with a slightly different recipe!
I've since determined that it's always going to be tough to make them COMPLETELY gluten and refined sugar free, if I still keep the key elements that make them traditional... which I do :-) I can't bare to leave out the oats which, although don't typically contain the type of gluten that most people find they react to, the majority of oat brands do technically contain gluten. This year I also decided to keep in the golden syrup... mostly because I can't think of any other time I would think to eat it, and it really does give them that traditional taste that reminds me of Aussie Day celebrations growing up.
So, I suppose Australia Day is one of those days that calls for just a little sugar, and maybe even a little gluten ;-)
What I DO love about tweaking this recipe is that the substitution of coconut oil for butter is a real winner. Thanks to the desiccated coconut that's already in the cookies, you really don't miss the butter, and the coconut oil makes them extra rich and luscious... not to mention a big dose of super healthy fat!
In this 2016 version of my ANZAC cookies, I used sorghum flour, which I love using as an alternative to plain flour when cooking sweet things. It has a lovely sweet flavour. However, you need to be careful with it, as it soaks up MUCH more of your wet ingredients than regular plain flour, and your cookies are at risk of being too crumbly... which can already be a bit of a challenge already with ANZAC cookies!
Make approximately 24 cookies.
- 1 cup rolled oats (have a look for an organic, low-gluten version)
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- 3/4 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp bicarb soda, dissolved in 2 tbs boiling water
- 3/4 cups coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbs golden syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 160C, and line a cookie sheet with baking paper. Combine all dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then combine. Use your hands to roll one tablespoon of mixture at a time into balls, and place on cookie sheet, leaving space for the cookies to spread. Gently push down on each cookie with the back of a fork. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until brown.
Tip: After 5 minutes or so, you might like to encourage the cookies to flatten further with the back of a fork, if they haven't adequately spread out.